Kelly End of aus­ter­ity? It doesn’t add up

Sunday Sun - - News -

to­bacco ad­ver­tis­ing which was a key plank of its elec­tion man­i­festo.

Blair used the straight sort of guy com­ment to as­sure the pub­lic it was all just an un­for­tu­nate co­in­ci­dence. Sev­eral co­in­ci­dences down the line and af­ter Iraq, Te­flon Tony had mor­phed into Tony ‘Bliar’ or Toxic Tony in the eyes of the pub­lic.

And now we have Chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond, who has taken to call­ing him­self ‘Fis­cal Phil’.

The lit­eral trans­la­tion of fis­cal is some­thing re­lat­ing to gov­ern­ment rev­enue, espe­cially taxes, so in ef­fect it’s a nick­name re­lat­ing to the job he does, like Post­man Pat.

The only dif­fer­ence is Post­man Pat doesn’t de­liver on a Sun­day while Ham­mond doesn’t de­liver on any day of the week.

Take his Bud­get speech last week in which he said ‘af­ter ev­ery­one’s hard work, aus­ter­ity is nearly over’.

The date the end of aus­ter­ity will be de­liv­ered was not given while his words were some way from Theresa May’s prom­ise at the Tory party con­fer­ence that it was ac­tu­ally over.

It will only be truly over when food banks are closed be­cause they weren’t needed, when coun­cils get the cash they need to re-launch the vi­tal ser­vices they have had to slash, and when Univer­sal Credit is ei­ther stopped or prop­erly funded so the five-week wait for the first pay­ment is got­ten rid of.

Also, when poverty rates go down and not up, wages in real terms go up and not down and the 1% freeze on pub­lic sec­tor work­ers is lifted for all and not just a select few, and raised to above the rate of in­fla­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the Res­o­lu­tion Foun­da­tion, ‘end­ing aus­ter­ity’ in re­la­tion to schools, hos­pi­tals and so­cial se­cu­rity would cost £30bn by the end of the Par­lia­ment – con­sid­er­ably less than the bank bailout cost of £137bn.

End­ing aus­ter­ity, while also keep­ing debt falling as a share of the econ­omy, will there­fore re­quire tax rises par­tic­u­larly among the wealthy – some­thing Ham­mond is ide­o­log­i­cal in­ca­pable of de­liv­er­ing. Chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond, oth­er­wise known as ‘Fis­cal Phil’

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